Advance Directives for Health Care
Legal Guidance from Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Atlanta
Advance directives for health care (ADHC) are legal documents that specify advance medical instructions regarding your preferred medical treatment and your final wishes for life support. Formerly the Living Will, in the Advance Directive, you name a trusted agent and empower him or her to direct your wishes as stated in your document. At Meyring Law Firm, we want to help ensure that you are able to control all aspects of your personal care and medical treatment even if you become incapacitated.
With an advance directive, you can insist upon receiving specific medical treatment or insist that certain medical treatment be withheld, even if you are not consciously able to make verbally state directions at that time. If you have a terminal condition or are in a permanent unconscious state, the advance directive is very useful for providing instruction to your medical care provider and your family members.
Creating an ADHC
The Georgia Advance Directive for Health Care Act, which is the foundation for advance directives, provides you with the opportunity to select someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. You can use any form of the ADHC that complies with the Georgia law.
The ADHC must be in writing, signed by you, and signed by two witnesses. Any adult who is considered to be of sound mind can execute an ADHC. It is one of the most powerful and useful estate planning instruments because the only alternative to the Advance Directive is Guardianship, which costs a client much more time and expense than a power of attorney.
An ADHC allows you to take the following two actions:
- Appoint your health care agent
- Direct the withholding / withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures
Selecting a Health Care Agent
In your ADHC, you can appoint an individual to act on your behalf to make decisions regarding:
- Consent to a specific type of health care
- Refusal of a specific type of health care
- Withdrawal of a specific type of health care
Appointing a health care agent is not mandatory. If you desire, you can have your ADHC only express your preferences for treatment. At Meyring Law Firm, we understand that making these decisions ahead of time can be very difficult.
We encourage you to discuss your situation with our Firm by contacting our Cobb County estate planning lawyer and staff at once.